Saturday, October 18, 2014

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES: National Chocolate Cupcake Day!

Today is National Chocolate Cupcake Day. I could stop by the bakery or Cara's Cupcakes and pick up a cupcake or two, but it's Saturday, so I'll probably make some Triple Chocolate Cupcakes. I like to fill my cupcakes with chocolate ganache. If you find it too thick, just thin a bit with some cream. I also use the ganache for the icing. Saves a step.

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

Cupcakes

Ingredients
1/2 cup sweet butter, room temperature
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
3/4 cup Dark cocoa powder  (Read about Natural vs. Dutch Process cocoa)
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla
2/3 cup mini dark chocolate chips

Directions
Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
In small bowl, place flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder and combine.
Add milk and vanilla and stir.
Add 1/3 dry ingredients to butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine.
Add half milk/vanilla mixture and beat to combine.
Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with dry ingredients.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Scoop batter into cupcake cups between 1/2 & 3/4 full.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

To make cupcakes flat on top: Bake in paper cups and flip onto flat surface when finished baking.  Leave pan sitting on top to make them flat. Allow to cool.
Freeze cupcakes and then use an apple corer to make the hole for the filling.

Ganache
Of course, you might have some leftover ganache in the freezer. 
Read Things to Do With Leftover Ganache.

Ingredients
12 ounces good quality chocolate, chopped
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp sweet butter


Directions
Place chocolate in medium sized bowl. 
Heat cream over medium low heat until barely begins to boil. Remove from heat immediately. Do not over-heat! 
Pour hot cream over chocolate and let sit for minute. 
Stir mixture (gently) until chocolate is melted and blended with cream. 
Add butter and combine. 
Do not beat the mixture.
Cool before filling or spreading. (use pastry bag to fill and frost) 

Sprinkle with chocolate curls, sprinkles, or other decorations


Thursday, October 16, 2014

How to Make Your Own Chocolate Liqueur

Today is National Liqueur Day! I often make Chocolate Liqueur Truffles. They're so easy to make, and you can change the liqueurs whenever you'd like. But sometimes I make my own chocolate liqueur. It's simple, and you should try it. Of course you can always buy Chocolate Liqueur, and I'll have to admit that Godiva has an awesome dark chocolate liqueur. You might also want to try Mozart Black Chocolate.

But if you want to make your own, try one of the following two recipes for Making Your Own Chocolate Liqueur.

 As always, use the best cacao nibs or cocoa, vodka, and vanilla. You won't have the results to taste today, but it will be worth the wait!

1. CHOCOLATE LIQUEUR
The recipe is from Serious Eats, one of my favorite sites.

Ingredients
 2/3 cup cacao nibs
1 1/3 cup vodka
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
2 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract

Directions
Combine cacao nibs and vodka in sealable glass jar. Shake and let steep for 8 days.
After initial steeping period, bring sugar and water to a boil. Let syrup cool, then add to jar along with vanilla extract. Let steep an additional day.
Strain out nibs through sieve and filter through a coffee filter into bottle or jar. Store in this jar.

II. CHOCOLATE LIQUEUR
This Recipe from Creative Culinary uses Scharffen Berger Cocoa Powder. 

Ingredients
1/4 cup unsweetened good cocoa powder (Scharffen Berger)
1 cup boiling water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water 1 cup vodka

Directions
In bowl, dissolve cocoa powder in boiling water.
In saucepan, bring sugar and water to simmer, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
Add sugar syrup to cocoa syrup.
Strain through fine-mesh sieve into jar with lid. Add vodka, cover and refrigerate for one week.
To serve, stir well and strain again through fine-mesh sieve.
 
These two recipes should get you started. Try less sugar and maybe add almond extract--or use rum instead of vodka. Experiment!

You can drink this straight, use it in truffles, or make a martini.

Have a wonderful National Liqueur Day. Make it Chocolate!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

I love a good Bundt Cake, and I have multiple Bundt pans. The cakes always look great. This cake, adapted from Southern Living, May 2010, is delicious and easy -- two of the most important components of any recipe for me. The original recipe has a nut crumble 'crust', but I don't think it needs it--and it sometimes sticks to the pan. Have a look, though, and decide for yourself. I rarely garnish Bundt Cakes. I don't think they need anything more. This cake is great toasted with morning coffee or tea.

CHOCOLATE CHIP BUNDT CAKE

Ingredients
2 + 3/4 cups all-purpose flour1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup sweet butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp Madagascar vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 (12 ounce) package semisweet chocolate mini-morsels

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla at medium speed with stand mixer 3 to 5 minutes or until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition, stopping to scrape bowl as needed.
Fold in chocolate mini-morsels. (Mixture will be thick.)
Spoon batter into prepared pan.
Bake at 350° for 50 to 55 minutes or until long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).